Armchair Builder

Green Building: The Gas Station in Your Garage

New green building products seem to be hitting the store shelves daily.  Did you ever think there would come a day when you could buy a gadget for your home that would provide fuel for your car?  Well, that day has arrived.  Although it sounds like something only the Jetsons would have, you can now buy an electric car charger from Lowe’s.  If you’re thinking of building a new home or garage anytime soon and you believe in the future of green building, you may want to include the wiring for a future car charger.

Building Green: The Car Charger

Green Building: Car Charger at Lowes

The Specs  

For just $999, you can have a new GE Wattstation wall mounted plug in electric car charger.  This is green building at its best.  The charger takes four to eight hours to fully charge a 24 kWh battery (the Chevy Volt has a 16 kWh battery).  The manufacture (GE) says it fits all electric vehicles.  The charger is 24 inches tall, 16 inches wide and 6 inches deep so it doesn’t take up much space.  With the 16 foot cable, you should be able to easily reach the plugin for your car.

Electrical Requirements

You need a dedicated circuit (which means a circuit just for this car charger) capable of supplying 30 amps.  They recommend you have a 40 amp circuit breaker.  The outlet required is a NEMA 6-50.  If you are adding this to your existing garage and your main circuit panel is there, this is an easy addition.  If your main electrical panel is in the basement and the ceiling is accessible…again, no brainer installation.  Any qualified electrician should be able to complete this green building  job in an hour or two.

Why is this considered green building?

I know there are people out there saying, But we create pollution when we generate electricity right?  For the moment, yes.  But clean electrical energy is on its way.  In Hawaii for example, there is a smart grid project currently starting that incorporates cutting edge technologies into the current system.  This will allow renewable energy like wind, solar and hydroelectric power to be more easily assimilated into the current system.  Maui is generating more electricity from wind than any other island and has several more projects being built as you read this.  And we can’t forget the volume of solar projects that have been completed or are in process for both business and homes.

With gas in the $4 range for many parts of the country, this little guy could save you a few bucks.  And how great would it be to never have to touch one of those nasty gas pumps again!   We posted an article a while back about green building and powering your car with your home solar power.  Check out Never Pay to Fuel Your Car Again if you missed it.

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